When King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem learned that Joshua had captured Ai and proscribed it, treating Ai and its king as he had treated Jericho and its king, and that, moreover, the people of Gibeon had come to terms with Israel and remained among them,
aHeb. “they were.”he was-a very frightened. For Gibeon was a large city, like one of the royal cities—in fact, larger than Ai—and all its men were warriors.
So King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent this message to King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon:
“Come up and help me defeat Gibeon; for it has come to terms with Joshua and the Israelites.”
The five Amorite kings—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, with all their armies—joined forces and marched on Gibeon, and encamped against it and attacked it.
The people of Gibeon thereupon sent this message to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not fail your servants; come up quickly and aid us and deliver us, for all the Amorite kings of the hill country have gathered against us.”
So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his whole fighting force, all the trained warriors.
The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for I will deliver them into your hands; not one of them shall withstand you.”
Joshua took them by surprise, marching all night from Gilgal.
The LORD threw them into a panic before Israel: [Joshua] inflicted a crushing defeat on them at Gibeon, pursued them in the direction of the Beth-horon ascent, and harried them all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
While they were fleeing before Israel down the descent from Beth-horon, the LORD hurled huge stones on them from the sky, all the way to Azekah, and they perished; more perished from the hailstones than were killed by the Israelite weapons.
On that occasion, when the LORD routed the Amorites before the Israelites, Joshua addressed the LORD; he said in the presence of the Israelites:
“Stand still, O sun, at Gibeon,
O moon, in the Valley of Aijalon!”
And the sun stood still
And the moon halted,
While a nation wreaked judgment on its foes
—as is written in the Book of Jashar.bPresumably a collection of war songs. Thus the sun halted in midheaven, and did not press on to set, for a whole day;
for the LORD fought for Israel. Neither before nor since has there ever been such a day, when the LORD acted on words spoken by a man.
Then Joshua together with all Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal.
Meanwhile, those five kings fled and hid in a cave at Makkedah.
When it was reported to Joshua that the five kings had been found hiding in a cave at Makkedah,
Joshua ordered, “Roll large stones up against the mouth of the cave, and post men over it to keep guard over them.
But as for the rest of you, don’t stop, but press on the heels of your enemies and harass them from the rear. Don’t let them reach their towns, for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hands.”
When Joshua and the Israelites had finished dealing them a deadly blow, they were wiped out, except for some fugitives who escaped into the fortified towns.
The whole army returned in safety to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah; no one so much as snarledcCf. Exod. 11.7. at the Israelites.
And now Joshua ordered, “Open the mouth of the cave, and bring those five kings out of the cave to me.”
This was done. Those five kings—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon—were brought out to him from the cave.
And when the kings were brought out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and ordered the army officers who had accompanied him, “Come forward and place your feet on the necks of these kings.” They came forward and placed their feet on their necks.
Joshua said to them, “Do not be frightened or dismayed; be firm and resolute. For this is what the LORD is going to do to all the enemies with whom you are at war.”
After that, Joshua had them put to death and impaled on five stakes, and they remained impaled on the stakes until evening.
At sunset Joshua ordered them taken down from the poles and thrown into the cave in which they had hidden. Large stones were placed over the mouth of the cave, [and there they are] to this very day.
At that time Joshua captured Makkedah and put it and its king to the sword, proscribing itdSo several mss.; most mss. and the editions read “them.” and every person in it and leaving none that escaped. And he treated the king of Makkedah as he had treated the king of Jericho.
From Makkedah, Joshua proceeded with all Israel to Libnah, and he attacked it.
The LORD delivered it and its king into the hands of Israel; they put it and all the people in it to the sword, letting none escape. And he treated its king as he had treated the king of Jericho.
From Libnah, Joshua proceeded with all Israel to Lachish; he encamped against it and attacked it.
The LORD delivered Lachish into the hands of Israel. They captured it on the second day and put it and all the people in it to the sword, just as they had done to Libnah.
At that time King Horam of Gezer marched to the help of Lachish; but Joshua defeated him and his army, letting none of them escape.
From Lachish, Joshua proceeded with all Israel to Eglon; they encamped against it and attacked it.
They captured it on the same day and put it to the sword, proscribing all the people that were in it, as they had done to Lachish.
From Eglon, Joshua marched with all Israel to Hebron and attacked it.
They captured it and put it, its king, and all its towns, and all the people that were in it, to the sword. He let none escape, proscribing it and all the people in it, just as he had done in the case of Eglon.
Joshua and all Israel with him then turned back to Debir and attacked it.
He captured it and its king and all its towns. They put them to the sword and proscribed all the people in it. They let none escape; just as they had done to Hebron, and as they had done to Libnah and its king, so they did to Debir and its king.
Thus Joshua conquered the whole country:eI.e., the whole southern part of Canaan. the hill country, the Negeb, the Shephelah, and the slopes, with all their kings; he let none escape, but proscribed everything that breathed—as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Joshua conquered them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, all the land of Goshen, and up to Gibeon.
All those kings and their lands were conquered by Joshua at a single stroke, for the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
Then Joshua, with all Israel, returned to the camp at Gilgal.